Sonoma Valley water users can get smart about water use
“Have you ever wondered how you can save money on your water bill?”
So begins, in a perky female voice, the 1-minute video overview of the new WaterSmart online tool being offered by the Valley of the Moon Water District. It promises instant cell-phone alerts of high water use, upcoming bills, track leaks and costs, and recommendations on ways to reduce water use and achieve lower water bills.
That’s the promise of the WaterSmart “customer water portal” now offered by VOMWD, characterized as “an online tool for customers to look at their water use information,” according to interim VOMWD general manager Matthew Fullner.
Logging into the tool at vomwd.watersmart.com with a utility’s customer email and password brings up a screen full of applications, including daily water use, current bills, water usage suggestions based on your property, and more. Customers can even track and compare water use (and payments) over time, to help anticipate periods of higher water bills, or find ways to counteract them.
“We are very excited to empower our customers in the use of this new platform,” said Fullner. “A lot of work and planning has gone into the building and operation of the AMI (automated metering infrastructure) system that is used to feed data into the Water Smart tool.”
Fullner added that the AMI system enables the water district’s small staff to “be much more proactive in alerting our customers to possible leaks and other problems while they are still small,” rather than having any problems only appear at the end of the 60-day billing cycle.
Sixty-five percent of the VOMWD system is currently fitted with an AMI meter and, when the entire system is fully updated, customers will be “generally more able to take control of their water bill,” he said.
WaterSmart Software, based in San Francisco, was founded in 2009 and recently announced its 100th utility partner in the U.S. and United Kingdom.